Steve Jacobs Bio
Last updated: August 15, 2015
President, IDEAL Group, Inc. and,
CEO, Apps4Android, Inc.
2809 Bohlen Drive
Hilliard, OH 43026-9012
Phone: (614) 777-0660
Fax: (614) 522-1031
Steve Jacobs has been a member of the high-tech industry since the mid '70s. Steve is President of IDEAL Group, Inc. and CEO of Apps4Android, Inc., one of several IDEAL Group companies. IDEAL Group is a 2002 spin-off from IDEAL at NCR Corporation where Steve served as President until his retirement at the end of 2002.
IDEAL Group and its subsidiaries are all Not Just For Profit (NJFP) corporations where value is determined, not only by profitability and self-sustainability, but by their level of success in driving cost-reductions into the hands of individuals with disabilities. IDEAL Group's mission is to "enhance the independence, quality-of-life, and employability of individuals with disabilities through the development and distribution of low/no cost technology-based products and services."
IDEAL Group serves as the parent company to several information and communications technology companies, including:
Context Discovery, Inc.
Established in 2006, Context Discovery designs and develops advanced knowledge discovery products designed to assist learners and knowledge workers to find essential "hidden" knowledge often buried within documents. For more information and examples: http://ideal-group.org/demos
InftyReader Group, Inc.
Established in March, 2007, InftyReader Group offers a sophisticated optical character recognition application that is used by thousands of universities around the world to recognize, convert, and enable the editing of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) documents into accessible formats in support of students with print disabilities. Converted formats include LaTeX, MathML, Human Readable TeX, and Word XML. You Tube Videos of InftyReader in Action
Established in January, 2009, Apps4Android is a social entrepreneurship company. Apps4Android's primary objective is not to earn a profit, but to implement widespread technological change in society that enhances the independence, quality of life, and employability of individuals with disabilities. Apps4Android is the world’s largest developer of Android applications designed in support of individuals with disabilities, with more than 19+ million installations. Apps4Android apps are being used on 5,676 unique model devices made by 82 wireless device manufacturers, and distributed by 568 wireless service providers in 214 countries and U.S. territories. For more information:
Knowledge Discovery Solutions, Inc.
Established in 2014, Knowledge Discovery Solutions http://kds.global, a joint venture company of IDEAL Group, Inc. Context Discovery, and Shaping Tomorrow offers knowledge-mining solutions in support of gathering "anticipatory intelligence" to help industry and government agencies identify and act upon emerging opportunities as well as identify the risks associated with those opportunities.
Previous to NCR’s spin-off from AT&T, Steve served as Chairman of AT&T Bell Lab’s Project Freedom. In 1992-1993 Steve’s group pioneered the use of interactive video technology for sign-language communications over telephone lines (dual ISDNs). This technology, now in the mainstream, is referred to as Video Relay Services (VRS). More: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRQKWIarEQM
Additional, IDEAL Group, Information:
Here's a link to some of IDEAL Groups' historical, accessibility-focused,
technology development projects:
Here's a link to the History of IDEAL Group:
Jacobs' Appointments, Congressional Testimonies, Recognitions:
Award: Recognized, by the White House for leading education and employment efforts in science, technology, engineering and math for Americans with disabilities.  http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions/stem-equality-for-americans-with-disabilities/steve-jacobs
Federal Communications Commission’s Video Programming and Emergency Access
Advisory Committee [2010-2012]
Expert Witness: Testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties hearing on Achieving the Promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act in the Digital Age – Current Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities  http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/hear_100422_1.html and http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/pdf/Jacobs100422.pdf
Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer Advisory Committee [2005-2007]
Federal Appointment: Federal Communications Commission's Consumer/Disability Telecommunications Advisory Committee which has since been renamed the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee [2000-2002] http://www.mdtap.org/tt/2000.05/announcements.html#Link9
Federal Appointment: Access Board's Electronic and Information Technology Access Advisory Committee [1998-1999] http://www.universaldesign.net/news/apr00.htm#us1
Federal Appointment: Access Board's Telecommunications Access Advisory Committee [1997-1998] http://trace.wisc.edu/docs/taac_intro/taac.htm
Expert Witness: Testified before the House Committee on Science Subcommittee on Technology Hearing on Meeting the Needs of People with Disabilities Through Federal Technology Transfer  http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/legaff/disabled.html
Sampling of Jacobs' Publications:
Developing Accessible, Mobile-Friendly Content for Students with Print
Disabilities in Grades 4-9, with an Emphasis on Mathematics 
Corporate Social Innovation Model: Enabling Positive Societal Change through
the Distribution and Use of Accessible ICT Products and Services 
Global Business Benefits of Accessible Information and Communication
Technology (ICT) Design 
Co-author: Department of Commerce's STAT-USA/Internet Companion to
International Business: Highlighting Accessibly-Designed Information and
Communications Technology 
Co-author: National Council on Disability report entitled, "Design for
Inclusion: Creating a New Marketplace" 
Author: "Design for Inclusion: Industry White Paper" 
Co-author: National Task Force on Technology and Disability report entitled,
"Within Our Reach" 
Co-author: the U.S. Access Board's Electronic and Information Technology
Access Advisory Committee Report that was used to develop the Access Board’s
Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards 
Co-author: the Telecommunications Access Advisory Committee Final Report that
was used, by the Access Board, to develop their Telecommunications Act
Accessibility Guidelines 
Historical IDEAL Group Project Engagements:
Bush 54th Inauguration Technology Project:
Integrated technology into George W. Bush's inauguration program and guidebook. The project repurposed technology being used by the Israeli military to come up with a method that enables a person who is blind to scan 77 pages of text... with only one pass of a scanner, with 100% accuracy.
54th Program Book (See Page 32):
54th Guide Book (See Page 77)
Edgar Online: Bush Presidential Inauguration Publications Use
IDEAL at NCR and Intacta Technologies, Inc. Demonstrate New
Fifty-Fourth eNaugural.com Ball Webcast:
Hosted fully-accessible 54th eNaugural.com Ball Webcast:
AT&T Bell Labs Project Freedom:
From 1991-1994 Steve served as Chairman of AT&T's Project Freedom. In 1993, this group pioneered the use of interactive video technology for sign-language communications over telephone lines (dual ISDNs). This technology is now referred to as Video Relay Services (VRS).
Video: First ASL Communication Over Telephones. This video
also contains historical footage of Alexander Graham Bell.
Although a competitor, Sprint used Project Freedom's Vistium
Video System for their first VRS pilot test in Texas. Here is a 1995 flyer
announcing the pilot test:
GA-SK Newsletter article about Sprint's pilot test:
Photo of Reid Huntt (Chairman of the FCC at that time) and Steve Jacobs,
Chairman, AT&T Project Freedom demonstrating their video system to FCC
Designed, developed, and implemented accessible prototype kiosks for the Smithsonian Institution's American History Museum.
President Clinton's Digital Divide Tour:
Vice President Gore's Digital Talking Book:
Published a Digital Talking Book in support of a reception held at the residence of Vice President Gore.
Business Week Article:
Internet Resource Center for the 53rd Presidential Inauguration
President Clinton's 53rd Presidential Inauguration:
Integrated technology into the 53rd Presidential inaugural program book.
Inauguration Program Book:
Education and Family:
Steve is a 1973 graduate of Ohio State University. Steve and wife, Pauline, have been married for 40 years. Pauline and Steve have two daughters, Shana and Jessica, and a granddaughter Brooke... who is Steve’s boss.